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Perspectives “We’re demonstrating the best we can God’s love for people who are hurting.”

Families In Need “There are an awful lot of people being helped, from food to furniture to bedding to clothes.”

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Ipswich tops UK audit response; p4 Online shoppers give back on iStreet; p12 Local project to give homes to the homeless; p1

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the magazine that’s brimming with examples of especially good news!

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Faith in Action Ipswich tops responses to nationwide poll

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Ipswich 4 Family Support and friendship helps families get back on their feet

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Home for Good: Suffolk Finding loving homes for vulnerable children

pp 10-11 Families in Need (FIND) Volunteers deliver food, furniture and more to families in need

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pp 12-13 iStreet Doing good with online shopping pp 14-15 Hope into Action Supporting the homeless with a friendly home

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pp 16-17 Perspectives A listening ear for pregnant women in difficult situations Volunteers deliver food and more to Ipswich families in need; pp 10-11

pp 18-19 Town of Sanctuary Making Ipswich a safe and welcoming place for refugees pp 20-21 Oasis Cafe A warm, welcoming classroom for language learners

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pp 22-23 Ormonde Christian Home A caring Christian home for later in life pp 24-25 Heart 4 Ipswich Website A new mobile- and user-friendly look for the H4I website

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4 Local residents attend a seminar to report on the findings; pp 4-5

Cover story Faith groups in Ipswich mobilise more than double the national average of volunteers, survey finds

What motivates you? Phil Stollery Heart for Ipswich

I wonder what motivates you to do what you are doing? The recent Faith Audit suggests that there is a lot of good done within the local community that goes largely unseen. At Heart for Ipswich we are passionate about making some of these ‘good news’ stories more widely known, to encourage, challenge and inspire all of us in the town we share. The chances are that at some point in our lives we will all need the support of others. Whether we are in the position to give or receive, the

truth is that we can only do this when we live in a sense of community with one another. In this latest edition, EG features a range of projects – affecting families, the homeless, refugees and older people. Some are still in their early stages, and others have been running for over 40 years. Look out too for a feature on iStreet giving and also news about our own re-launched web site.

So what are you waiting for? Turn the page to read more...

You can find more stories on www.heart4ipswich.co.uk or connect with us on social media:

Heart 4 Ipswich

@Heart4Ipswich

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Faith in action – Ips “We have heard some headline results from this audit for the local faith groups, and they are quite remarkable!”

Chris Bally, Asst CEO Suffolk County Council

Is the church disengaged with UK society in the 21st century? An audit seeking to answer this question was held across the country in February 2015.

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n 60 regions of the UK, each made up of hundreds of cities, towns and villages, thousands of churches and faith groups completed the survey. Ipswich topped the response of any other town or city in the UK. A spokesman for Heart 4 Ipswich, who oversaw the audit in Ipswich, said: “We started well with around 75 churches, charities or faith groups in the town agreeing to participate. By the end of

the four-week exercise, Ipswich had an 82% response rate. We want to thank everyone who made this a fantastic success.” Why an Audit? Steve Jay, Coordinator of the Heart 4 Ipswich Audit Team, said: “The purpose of this audit is to demonstrate the breadth and depth of faith-based social action in Ipswich and across the UK. This will surprise a lot of people and be a tremendous


swich tops poll encouragement and benefit to churches, projects and local community agencies.”

to continue to work together to see efficient synergy in social action in the region.

The Results? Heart 4 Ipswich hosted an official launch of the Ipswich & Suffolk Coastal results earlier this year at Kesgrave Comunity Centre.

The Archbishop, Justin Welby at the recent Faith Audit results event in Westminster, said:

The results show Ipswich faith communities have been able to mobilise more than double the national average of volunteers. In the town, 55,000 people have benefitted from the social action initiatives run by 60 churches or faith groups – a total of 800,000 volunteer hours per year, valued at a staggering £8 million. Remarkable Results Chris Bally, Asistant CEO of Suffolk County Council in his address at the event said, “We have heard some headline results from this audit for the Ipswich & Suffolk Coastal Faith Groups, and they are quite remarkable!” He stressed that the public sector, the voluntary sector and the faith community sector need

“The faith communities in this country have risen to the challenge in the last seven or eight years in the most extraordinary way, as they have done before, and will continue to do whatever happens in the future with the economy – because there will always be people in need, there will always be people who need not just provision but need provision wrapped up in love. And it’s when they get that that human dignity is preserved and humanity is lifted.” Bishop of St Edmundsbury Suffolk, Martin Seeley, keynote speaker at the launch event, said he was greatly encouraged to hear of the extraordinary impact that Christians are having on the communities in the town and in the Suffolk Coastal region.

“It is evidence to the hard work that many people have been involved in, working together over a number of years. It is very evident that faith is having a huge impact in this area.”

Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury Suffolk

MORE INFORMATION To learn more, watch the video and download the full results see the website: www.heart4ipswich.co.uk Or visit Cinnamon Faith Action Audits at www. cinnamonnetwork.co.uk/ cinnamon-faith-action -audits to watch the video.

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Helping families help “It is exciting to see families gain hope and grow stronger... We’ve seen lots of very positive outcomes.”

Jan Baker, Coordinator of Ipswich 4Family.

Struggling families need more than a temporary solution – Ipswich 4Family provides the guidance and support to help them make longterm changes.

An interview with Jan Baker, Coordinator of Ipswich 4Family. EG: Where is Ipswich 4Family based? “We’re based in the east of Ipswich – the project currently runs with a variety of local churches working together, in association with Heart 4 Ipswich.” How would you describe the work that you do? “4Family equips local church-

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es to help vulnerable or lonely families develop their capacity to support themselves, and to find the solutions for the things that matter to them most. Each family is allocated a trained, volunteer Family Mentor who visits for an hour a week, supported by one of our Family Link Workers. It is exciting to see families gain hope and grow stronger. One mother who we have been working with recently, thanked us saying; ‘I now


p themselves feel like I am getting my life back. I really don’t know what I would have done without you!’ That’s fulfilling.” How long have you been running 4Family? “We first visited Yeovil, Somerset to see the 4Family project running there in 2013. Then we built strong relationships with community groups, schools and churches working in East Ipswich, to get ready for launching our pilot scheme. We took on our first family in April 2014, and then gradually took on more families. The pilot scheme lasted a year and we’ve seen some very good outcomes.” What sort of outcomes have you seen? “We’ve seen lots of very positive outcomes. We have worked with a variety of nationalities; with families struggling with debt, addiction, unemployment, domestic violence, with children with emotional or educational challenges. One mum who has agreed for us to share this, built a good relation-

ship of trust with her Family Mentor. Over six months mum gradually improved her parenting, was able to tackle her debt with budgeting skills and regained her self-esteem. Other things have come to the surface and we have been able to facilitate even more positive changes for the whole family. The result is Mum has gained confidence. She sees things improving and has a completely fresh attitude in her relationships. Her children now attend school regularly and the debt is being tackled.” How have you personally been affected by running the project? “As the Ipswich 4Family Coordinator it’s been very exciting to see the project start in Ipswich, grow robustly and be successful. There are always frustrations of course, when coming alongside multiple families – especially families in need – you can’t say, ‘Sorry, we can’t help you for the next week because everyone’s on

holiday’. The key was getting the right people trained and in place whilst taking time to work with local community groups to demonstrate clear and consistent outcomes. Outside agencies may know about us, but they rightly need evidence. We are now getting links with local schools – to work with some of their families. That’s exciting! We continue to expand and are training more Link Workers and Family Mentors. This all takes time but we are here to stay.”

MORE INFORMATION If you would like to know more about Ipswich 4Family, please email info@I4Family.org or visit their website: www.i4family.org You can also follow them on Twitter @I4Famillies.

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Caring homes for “People have said to me, ‘I don’t know how you do it’, but it’s not about how you do it, it’s about what they need.”

Melissa Naish, Home for Good: Suffolk coordinator.

As coordinator for Home for Good:Suffolk, Melissa Naish is passionate about fostering and adopting, and for good reason – she’s got firsthand experience.

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eated at her kitchen table, she rocks a crying, colicky baby back and forth, while her two children run in and out, stopping occasionally to wave to the baby or give him a kiss. The baby will only be with the family a few months – the Naishs are fostering him until his parents are settled and ready to take him on. “People have said to me, ‘I don’t know how you do it’, but it’s not about how

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you do it, it’s about what they need,” Melissa says. “[They’re] innocent children who need that love, and they’re in limbo until decisions are made.” Foster carers, she explains, provide a ‘middle ground’ for children until more permanent solutions can be found. Through her work with Home for Good, Melissa supports potential foster carers and adoptive parents, as well as families who have already


or kids in need opened their homes to children in need. Home for Good is a national organization that works to encourage and support fostering and adoption. The need in Suffolk is great, too – according to Suffolk County Council, there are currently over 700 children in care in the region. There is a great need at the moment for homes for children 4 and over, particularly teenagers. As coordinator, Melissa helps connect people who are interested in fostering or adopting with volunteers in their local area, and organizes drop-in information sessions where people can simply ask questions or find out how to take the next step. Melissa also works closely with churches in the area to help them support families in their congregation (and the wider community) who foster or adopt. “Not everyone is able to foster or adopt, but everyone can help in some way, practically or spiritually,” Melissa says. For a family that has just

brought a new child into their home, the greatest need may simply be a meal that’s already been prepared or a piece of equipment they don’t have to buy. The prayer and support of their church community can make a big difference, as well. A key area of focus this year has been providing support groups for both parents and children. Not only is it helpful for the parents to connect, it’s also a chance for the children to build friendships with others who are in a similar situation. Home for Good:Suffolk currently runs a foster support group and an adoption support group, each meeting twice a month in Ipswich. There are also meet-ups for children of different ages, including under-5s and school-aged children. This year, they also plan to run Christmas events for the under and over 8s, so that all ages have an opportunity to meet and build friendships.

“Adopting transforms the lives of children and gives them the best possible chance to reach their potential,” Melissa says. “I feel that it doesn’t just transform the lives of those you adopted – it brings about generational transformation, as their new experiences are likely to make a difference to how they parent and break the cycle of generational abuse.” MORE INFORMATION Follow Home for Good: Suffolk on Faceboook at facebook.com/ homeforgoodsuffolk, where you can also sign up for their email newsletter. You can also email Melissa at suffolk@ homeforgood.uk. Encourage your church to sign up for the next Adoption Sunday at homeforgood.org.uk/get-involved/adoption-sunday 9


Finding help for

For 25 years, Families in Need (FIND) has been providing local families with the essentials – from food to furniture. Now founder Maureen Reynel has been recognised for her efforts.

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espite perceptions of Suffolk being an affluent county, around 78,000 residents are classed as income-deprived, with several areas in Ipswich and Lowestoft among the most deprived in the country. And it’s these families that Ipswich-based charity Families in Need (FIND) has been working hard to help. Best known for its food bank, FIND delivered a total of 3576 food parcels to needy

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families in 2014 – and over 1020 food parcels during the Christmas period. The food bank however, is only part of what FIND does in the community. “There are an awful lot of people being helped, from food to furniture to bedding to clothes,” says founder Maureen Reynel. Maureen started FIND in 1990 and has been running it full-time ever since. She was recently awarded an MBE in recognition of her efforts.


r families One of her key priorities is to make sure every child has a good, clean bed. Maureen remembers one 9-year-old boy who lived in a room with his mother on very low income. “He had to share a bed with his mother, which meant he couldn’t invite any school friends round because they would ask, ‘Where do you sleep?’” Maureen explains. When FIND learned of the situation, they sent two new, smaller beds – one for the boy and one for his mother. “The excitement of this little boy to have his own bed was amazing!” she says. FIND helps people of all ages, in a range of situations. Their services aren’t just for people who are out of work either. “There are people who work who need food parcels because their wages aren’t cov-

“There are an awful lot of people being helped, from food to furniture to bedding to clothes.”

ering [everything], people on zero-hour contracts and that messes up their benefits.” Most people come to FIND through a referral from an agency, doctor’s surgery or even a school, although occasionally people call in themselves as well. “I don’t say no unless I know it’s just a greed, not a need,” explains Maureen. “We’re dependent on local giving – I get some small grants from a few places, but it’s mostly churches, individuals and local businesses.” The charity, now in its 25th year, is run entirely by volunteers. Maureen has around 40 volunteers who help throughout the year, delivering food parcels, furniture and other good to families across Ipswich. “I don’t have recipients come to the food bank; I think that’s humiliating. I have to trust that thosewho are referring them are being honest, that they are making sure the need is genuine. In the afternoon I have volunteers who take the

food in; it’s like someone is bringing in their shopping.” Currently the charity is split across three different locations around Ipswich – one to house the foodbank, the others to store and manage the furniture, clothes and other goods FIND provides. Maureen says one of the main goals for this year is to find a location that can house all aspects of the charity under one roof. “I have to find a lot of funding for rent and board, but God provides,” Maureen says. “I have a lot of adversity to get through, but the miracles are amazing too.”

MORE INFORMATION To learn more about FIND or how to get involved, please visit findipswich.org.uk or call 01473 833351.

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Shopping that g “We’re continually trying to make it a better experience for the charities and for their supporters so they find it very easy.”

Hamish Stone, iStreet cofounder

As more and more people turn to online shopping, iStreet makes it easier than ever to give back.

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ith 74% of people in the UK now choosing to purchase online, high street shopping has fallen dramatically. Is it any wonder? With the possibility of swapping the chaotic queues for a simple click on your computer in the warmth and contentment of your own home, online shopping for many is an effortless alternative to the hustle and bustle of the high street.

And now there are other advantages to online shopping – thanks to iStreet it is possible for online shoppers to help raise money for their chosen charity without having to pay an extra penny themselves. Formed in September 2013, iStreet offers an alternative fundraising solution. Based in Ipswich, iStreet is a giving-centric social enterprise, helping to raise millions for UK charities and good causes for free; all simply through


gives back the power of online shopping. “iStreet connects charities with retailers,” explains founder Hamish Stone. “So anyone from a charity or a supporter can come to iStreet and shop at, currently, over 1200 retailers. As we send them to retailer’s site, that retailer will happily give back a percentage of the spend as a thank you... The average donation percentage is about 5%... If you book a holiday through iStreet you can raise a lot.” The idea for iStreet was initially formed when cofounder Hugo was doing a charity bike ride to fundraise for Whizz Kidz. It struck them how much time it took to do the fundraising and how hard it was to raise a reasonable amount. So from that point on Hugo

“We’d like to grow to the point we’re raising millions, nationally.”

started to look at ways to make fundraising easier. “We realized that these retailers were willing to give out money if you could send a new customer or customer to their site, and they’ll happily give a percentage back of their shop,” says Hamish. Unlike other donation sites, iStreet is simple: you log in, select your chosen charity and then shop through iStreet. Over 1200 retailers are signed up to the program. iStreet have made it even easier by creating a reminder widget. Some retailers like Amazon already allow you to give to selected charities by logging in through the charity’s own website – but remembering to do this each time you shop can be a hassle. iStreet’s reminder widget eliminates this issue, by allowing you to shop online normally; when you’re on any of the participating retailers’ websites the reminder will pop up, and allow you to activate donations from there.

iStreet have also been working on a mobile app and are very focused on coming up with ways to build on their simplicity for users and charities. “We’d also like to become one of the leading, we call it “alternative fundraising” [solutions],” says Hamish. ”Because it is different to any other type of fundraising. And we’d like to grow to the point where we’re raising millions, nationally, all over.”

MORE INFORMATION Setting up the online giving gadget is easy! Visit istreet.org.uk and click ”Join Now” to set up your account and choose your charity. Then, select “More” from the menu, choose “Reminder Tool” and click “Install iStreet” to add the gadget to your web browser. 13


Putting hope into “Many people in this country instinctively turn and expect the Church to care for the homeless. And we want to enable churches to do just that.”

Ed Walker, Hope into Action founder

Hope into Action is an award-winning charity set up to fight homelessness, initially in Peterborough, then across the country – and coming soon to Ipswich.

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heir dream is to change the lives of the most disadvantaged in our society by finding them homes rather than simply a bed for the night. Mervyn Dye, Ipswich Coordinator for Hope into Action reports, “There is plenty of need out there. 2,744 people sleep rough in the UK, that’s up 14% since 2010. The Ipswich Housing Action Group report applications for emergency housing over and

above the statutory homeless in the town. On any one night in Ipswich, there are about 13 people sleeping rough in the town centre.” Ed Walker, founder of Hope Into Action says, “I think many people in this country instinctively turn and expect the Church to care for the homeless. And we want to enable churches to do just that. But more than that we want to address their deeper loneliness, and their need


o action to belong and be loved.” Ed Walker started the national organisation after a simple conversation with a recently released offender from prison seated on a park bench with nowhere to go. Ed took him home. He realised that a home with people who befriend and mentor the residents would provide the basic stability needed to help them get back on track. Hope Into Action runs many houses in Nottingham, Peterborough, Norwich, Cambridge, Eastbourne, Swindon, Lincoln, Wolverhampton, Reading and Woodbridge. The Hope into Action scheme in Woodbridge, Suffolk is being supported by volunteers from local churches. They will soon be providing their experience to the Ipswich team, who are about to purchase a house in Ipswich.

“We want to address their deeper loneliness, and their need to belong and be loved.”

John Ash, Lead Support Worker at the Woodbridge Hope into Action says, “We purchased the house in Woodbridge, helped by a group of 19 investors from local churches at the end of 2014. Six months later the first resident moved in, with a second joining him in September.” “Both are supported by a group of trained mentors through the churches in Woodbridge. We are committed to make this exciting endeavour a success!” How it Works Hope Into Action handles the investment, purchase and leasing of the property. They provide support to the project and liaise with a Lead Support worker locally; between them, they manage referrals, needs and risk assessments, benefits, rent collection, support and linking into other agencies. They will also work closely with the church to try and liaise with and advise church members and write regular updates. The church in

partnership (in this case St John’s) has appointed a small group of people (Hope into Action - Woodbridge), all volunteers, who will provide furniture and equipment for the accommodation be-friend and meet frequently with the residents. “I am excited! We have just got an offer from an investor for our first home in Ipswich,” Mervyn says. “But we are still looking for more investors. Invest £50,000 in a house and you will get 2% annual return on your investment, plus any appreciation of the house value. But far more than that you will get the satisfaction of being a big part of helping up to five people get their life back on track.”

MORE INFORMATION To find out more about Hope into Action, or to get involved, please visit info@hopeintoaction. org.uk.

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A positive persp “We’re demonstrating the best we can God’s love and passion for people who are hurting.”

Nancy SloanCapasso, Perspectives Coordinator.

Many people have problems and difficulties associated with pregnancy. Perspectives, established in 1998, is here to help.

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roviding a free and confidential listening and support service, volunteers at Perspectives walk alongside clients at a time when they really need it, respecting individuals and giving them all the help, support and love they need. Perspectives offers support for anyone experiencing difficulties related to unplanned pregnancy, miscarriage, baby loss and termination; offering one-to-

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one listening and support. “We’re demonstrating the best we can God’s love and passion for people who are hurting,” says Nancy, the centre coordinator. “We’re here to open that door and show compassion and love.” “Emotions might get bottled up, but here they can be released safely, in a nonjudgemental environment with volunteers who care.” That listening ear can make


pective a big difference to women struggling with pregnancy-related issues, in the long-term as well. One client explains: “My time with Perspectives really helped me with my decision making and managing my emotions.” “Just by taking the time to think about my worries, concerns and personal circumstances was so beneficial to me. Perspectives are non-judgemental, supportive and great at what they do!” Perspectives also runs a school’s work program where volunteers go into schools and talk to teenagers about relationships and making healthy choices, as well as the work that they do. The training for these volunteers is partly funded by Suffolk Community Trust. The rest of the funding

“Perspectives really helped me with my decision-making and managing my emotions.”

comes from individual donations, so Perspectives is always in need of fundraising volunteers to help them raise more. Perspectives will also be opening a charity shop, likely sometime next year, to sell children’s clothes. The shop will cater for children aged 0-11 years and will sell both donated items, as well as clothes knitted by volunteers.

son was 1. I’m married now and expecting another child, and we are really excited.” Perspectives services are accessible through self-referral, and an initial appointment will be arranged to talk through a client’s situation and their needs. After this appointment, further listening sessions or counselling will be offered.

Also needed are volunteers with a Christian faith that are prepared to undergo training to become a support and listening volunteer. These volunteers are essential to the service Perspectives provides. “When I found out I was pregnant it was a shock for me,” explains another client. “I still wanted my freedom. The person I met at Perspectives was really kind and non-judgemental. “I remember thinking at the time being a young mum was really hard. But I learnt to accept the good things about being a mum. I continued my degree course when my

MORE INFORMATION To book an appointment or to enquire about being a volunteer call: 07540 635236 or email office@perspectives. freeserve.co.uk.

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Ipswich: a town o “This is a concept, more than an organisation – developing a culture of hospitality and welcome for people who come here.”

Melissa Day, Town of Santuary Coordinator

Daily in the media we see the unfolding drama of an unprecedented exodus of refugees fleeing abusive conditions – mainly from Syria and Iraq – arriving on Europe’s doorstep.

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he world’s conscience has been gripped by images of fathers climbing border fences with children in their arms, overloaded boats sinking in the Mediterranean, and the body of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian boy washed up on the Turkish coastline. The refugee crisis is a global issue, but Europe is having to react to it. There have been many responses about this issue, some very extreme. But no

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matter what our opinion is, the refugees are here. Today. What should we do about it? Long before this recent crisis hit our screens, Melissa Day has been working with others to make Ipswich an official Town of Sanctuary. Several years ago Melissa met a refugee from Zimbabwe in London. His determination to fight, while on hunger strike for the welfare of other refugees in the UK, sparked her passion to help refugees too.


of sanctuary The National movement ‘City of Sanctuary’ began in Sheffield in 2005. Inderjit Bhogal, founder and chair of the City of Sanctuary movement, himself a refugee to the UK in 1964, came especially to Ipswich to launch the Town of Sanctuary initiative in Ipswich.

of faith groups, community groups, organisations and local government. On 31 October 2012, following a presentation to the Council in June 2012 by Melissa Day and others, Ipswich Borough Council gave unanimous backing to the Ipswich Town of Sanctuary bid.

He explained that the City of Sanctuary movement was not about setting up new organisations, but encouraging people to work together to help those in need of refuge.

Cllr Sandy Martin, at the time said, “One of the most important phrases in the motion is ‘to challenge misinformation in the wider community. Asylum seekers do not represent a massive cost to the Borough Council or to the people of Ipswich. Their housing does not represent any cost to the Council, nor are they allocated to housing which is in the control of the Council. Their subsistence – and that is all that they receive, very much less than unemployed British citizens would receive – is met by the government.’”

He wanted many to share the vision of local people and local governments working together to welcome people in need. “There are sanctuaries in this country for donkeys and birds, so why not for people?” Like the Fair Trade movement, Ipswich Town of Sanctuary works with existing groups and networks. The aim is to ensure that everyone, particularly asylum seekers and refugees, feel welcome and safe and have their needs met. The project has the support

“Asylum seekers are not ‘taking our jobs’. They are specifically barred from doing any sort of paid work. That is one reason why finding some sort of constructive activity for them is so important.’

The motion was seconded by LibDem leader Andrew Cann, who said there was a long history of this region providing sanctuary in this country, starting with the Protestant Huguenots who fled France in the 16th century. The motion was also backed by Conservative group deputy leader, Chris Stewart, who said the move should encourage people to treat refugees with more respect. Melissa continues to coordinate Ipswich Town of Sanctuary workshops and drop-ins, and offers to host refugees. She is passionate that the present crisis gives Ipswich the opportunity to demonstrate that we are a Town committed to building a culture of hospitality and welcome, especially for refugees seeking sanctuary from war and persecution.

MORE INFORMATION To learn more, please visit www.ipswich. cityofsanctuary.org.

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Speaking the langu “In the current global climate, people are searching for identity, value, acceptance and most of all, love.”

Maureen Huntly, Project Manager at Oasis

Learning another language can be daunting, but the Oasis Centre at Ipswich International Church makes learners feel safe and welcome.

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ver the past year, 153 students have enrolled in the Oasis Centre’s English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) curriculum. Run by Ipswich International Church, the Oasis Centre teaches the government-approved ESOL curriculum, from pre-beginner, all the way up to entry level 3. The Oasis Centre’s programme helps speakers of other languages integrate into our society, create social cohesion and prepare for

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the job market, as well as providing a listening ear, practical help, guidance or advice. The Centre is open to people from any nationality, culture or religion.

A warm welcome Staff are of many different nationalities, so when the students first come into the process: “they hear their own language spoken and immediately they relax; so we can settle them in and orientate them in their own


uage of friendship language before we actually start teaching them English,” said Maureen, Project Manager at Oasis. “In the current global climate, people are searching for identity, value, acceptance and most of all love. There is such a need; immigrants are arriving every month and we allow them to join our classes. “We treat our learners like ‘kings and queens’ to show them the meaning of Christianity in practice. We are here to represent what God can do for these people.”

A place to relax Bridges are built within the Oasis International Café. It offers a platform, a place

“People are not just coming here for an English lesson but to be part of a community.”

to socialize where people can feel relaxed. “People are not just coming here for an English lesson but to be part of a community,” said Cathy, a teacher at Oasis. “So many of these people have incredible stories, some of them traumatic and vulnerable experiences. We might not know the extent of their stories or how they ended up in the UK, but for a number of them they probably had to go through something difficult to get here.” Oasis Centre works with other organisations to help point students in the right direction of agencies that may be able to help them. They’re also going to be working with a Suffolk County Council Children’s Advice Clinic, where families can go to get advice about childcare, so children can be left some where safe while parents attend lessons. Due to demand by advanced students, ESOL will be starting conversation classes so students can use the theory they learn to talk together about culture, politics and

books, which will further help them to learn and integrate into society. They’re also looking into offering level 1 classes, which are crucial, as learners can really get into the proficiency of English which will help guide them into the job market. There is a real demand for the Oasis Centre’s work and volunteers are always needed. Volunteers Needed Oasis Centre is looking for volunteers to fill a number of roles, incuding: • café workers • permanent teachers • admin assistant • web designer • crèche workers If your organisation would like help or advice setting up English lessons to help meet demand, please contact the Oasis team. For information, contact: Maureen Huntly on 01473 710022 or 07985 460425. 21


A home with a v

Ormonde Christian Home for the Elderly is a long-established residential care home in the centre of Ipswich, opening its doors to the Christian community in 1976. Almost 40 years on and the heart of the organisation hasn’t changed.

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riginally founded by a group of Christians largely located in the South East of Ipswich, Ormonde Christian Home was born out of a desire to see elderly Christians cared for when they feel they are no longer able or wanting to take care of themselves, in a specifically Christian centered care home.

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for permanent residents and for respite care.

Today, the home can care for up to 13 residents at any one time and offers bespoke 24-hour care – both

Ormonde is run by a small management team who are overseen by a board of trustees who come from different

As a home, they hold fast to the words of the apostle Paul, who wrote: ‘In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: It is more blessed to give than to receive.’


view local churches in Ipswich. Together with the rest of the care staff, they work hard to ensure every resident feels a part of the Ormonde family, and that both their physical and spiritual needs are met. Rose, the care manager, said, “When you lose mobility because you are old and frail and you cannot manage to go to church because of different issues, it’s like bringing God into the home. There’s satisfaction knowing that you’ve offered something to somebody...It’s not just a job to me, there’s the Christian side as well that is satisfying”.

“People face different challenges and problems, and they don’t know who to turn to, but of course you can turn to God.”

“There are residents who used to go to church when they were younger but they can’t remember much and sometimes when you’re singing hymns, they will start clapping and remember those good years and when they were young. It’s like finding hope in your last days”. “It’s nice sometimes to listen to their stories and what they’ve been through in life, sometimes when talking to them you can see a young girl in an old woman. I gain a lot of wisdom from them”.

to fundraise for Ormonde in what is a very friendly, family-oriented day.

The role of volunteers Volunteers are a crucial part of Ormonde’s work. They come in to provide short bible teachings, as well as times of prayer and worship, which are invaluable to the residents that live there.

Plenty to see and do Positioned on the edge of Christchurch Park, with a large landscaped garden to the rear, residents are able to look out and see the changing seasons and admire God’s beautiful handiwork. There is also an activities co-ordinator providing a weekly program of events and outings. Once a year Ormonde arranges a Fete, bringing supporters, friends and families of residents together

MORE INFORMATION To learn more about Ormonde Christian Home or how you can get involved, please call 01473 215073.

23


Our new website

Heart 4 Ipswich has gone mobile – check out our new mobilefriendly website!

24

autumn/winter 2015

T

he newly redesigned Heart 4 Ipswich website has now launched. It works on desktop, laptop, smartphone, and tablet devices, so you can catch up on the latest news anywhere you go.

was not a top priority.

The new mobile-friendly website helps connect Christians across the town to the latest news and events.

Back then it was the first website that connected readers to the Christian news, events, stories and ads around the town. And it still does! But our main goal for the redesign was to provide a simpler way to help people find out about all the things they’re interested in locally.

When Heart 4 Ipswich launched the website over six years ago, creating a mobile-friendly site

Six years later, and technology has changed. Given the continued increase in mobile users on the site, the Heart


goes mobile 4 Ipswich web team decided on a refresh, with a focus on a better experience for people using mobile devices, as well as some new features.

You can also volunteer to be a blogger or join our team of journalists and photographers. We need you!

A great place to share

We are interested in the things you are interested in, so we want to hear your suggestions for the website. Whether it’s a one-stop-shop for volunteering, Christian Dating, or something else, we’d love to hear your ideas. See the site now at: www.heart4ipswich.co.uk

Did you know all your adverts, stories and events are read by hundreds of people a day, on our website and via our social media? We also send out a regular newsletter you can subscribe to via the website. If you send us details of your events, they will be seen by any subscribers with a calendar app on their desktop, smartphone, or tablet. It’s a great way to get your event widely publicised and avoid calendar clashes. It also makes sense to advertise or send us regular stories or features about your local church, charity or community. Our goal is to keep Christians up-to-date with all the local news and events, so send us your press-releases, newsletters and event details. We’ll also advertise jobs, accommodation, rooms to hire, and volunteering opportunities.

What next?

To send us stories, subscribe to our email newsletter, or anything else, just email Pip at: stories@heart4ipswich.co.uk Facebook: Heart 4 Ipswich Twitter: @heart4ipswich

A FEW OF OUR EXCITING NEW FEATURES: • Text can be read without zooming • Visitors won’t need to swipe left to right to read content • Menu links can be easily selected on a touch device • Adding your comments on articles is now easier than ever on mobile devices • Town-wide events calendar can synchronise to any calendar app on your desktop, tablet or smartphone • Regular blogs from all flavours of local bloggers • Online giving, text giving and giving as you shop online!

25


Town pioneer Alan Fisher leaves lasting legacy Initiator of many Ipswich charities and cross-church Christian projects will be greaty missed.

Alan Fisher, keen sailor and musician and active member of St Matthew’s church passed away in late October. Alan leaves an amazing legacy of 40 years work that will continue to impact the town. Alan was instrumental in the forming of Heart 4 Ipswich and in particular, establishing the Network Ipswich web site. With his passion for nurturing new ideas, sharing good news and encouraging grassroots projects, Alan was influential in the development and growth of many successful projects in the town for over forty years. Alan was passionate about science, writing many articles on the Heart 4 Ipswich and Network Norwich websites about Christianity and science. He trained as a Chartered Electrical Engineer, and was Head of Design Strategy at TXU Energy for seven years. As a founding member of Christian Youth Ministries 26

autumn/winter 2015

(CYM), Alan used his business experience to create a sustainable ministry that has affected the lives of hundreds of young people over the years. He also helped set up the now successful and widely respected African Village project. As a trustee with Perspectives Pregnancy Advice Centre, he saw the creation of a service which has helped many women and their families through difficult times. Alan was an early trustee for Inspire, especially encouraging and influencing the setting up of the counselling centre after its first years of training church ministry teams. He was integral in setting up the Town Pastors as a company, serving on the original management team and as the first Company Secretary. He was a long standing home ‘pray-er’ for Town Pastors, originally as part of the ‘CYM centre’ prayer team, and then a home prayer team, up until recent months.

With Heart 4 Ipswich he developed a web site that now seeks to share a range of stories, opinions and news to the local Christian community and beyond. He also oversaw the delivery of grants to new projects and contributed to bringing people together to share ideas - encouraging the Church in Ipswich to look to meeting the needs of the local community. Even within the last 12 months, during his illness, Alan advised on Heart4Ipswich becoming a charity, which will allow us to continue and grow an organisation that serves the local Church and encourages us all to make a difference in society. Alan was a keen and skilled sailor and musician (bringing special joy in playing and singing with his wife Celia) and in later life embraced the rhythms and wisdom of Celtic Christian understanding. Even in the past few months when we know he was in much


pain, Alan felt passionate about restarting the parish magazine of St Matthews where he and Celia had attended for many years. The magazine brings together the people of the parish in shared stories. Alan did all of this voluntarily – whilst throughout his employed life working as an engineer. Most importantly he was a devoted family man – husband, father and grandfather. To a large extent Alan was a ‘behind the scenes’ man, bringing his experience of working in

business to create sustainable projects that have made a significant difference in the town. It was his faith in Jesus who saves, which he recently described as, “such an ingrained part of me”, that drove him to work passionately and diligently for the good of the community.

He was widely respected as a ‘wise elder’. We will really miss all that he has done, but greater still his gentle words of love and encouragement. However, we are encouraged by his example and vision to carry on such influential work.

Alan’s heart was always for Christians to work together across the divides, concentrating on those things which unite rather than what separates.

27


Editor Jade McFarland Contributors Sophie Pratt, Steve Jay, Jade McFarland, Philippa Branson, Phil Stollery Heart for Ipswich chairman Phil Stollery, coodinator Steve Jay Creative Direction Copywrighting & Creative Communications Ltd Contact us: stories@heart4ipswich.co.uk Š 2015

Published by

Heart for Ipswich - Building Bridges, Connecting Communities Our aim is to serve Ipswich by communicating and collaborating with networks of Christian leaders, local churches, Christian organisations and statutory agencies. We want to see personal and community transformation across the town. (Registered Charity 1159013) www.heart4ipswich.co.uk

Eg magazine - Issue 2 - Autumn/Winter 2015  

The magazine that's brimming with examples of especially good news! Featuring: Faith in Action, Ipswich 4Family, Home for Good, FIND, iStree...

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